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The Old Man and the Sea | [Ernest Hemingway]

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Hemingway's short, evocative sentences have never worked better than in this novella written at the twilight of his career. Donald Sutherland achieves an astonishing performance as old man Santiago, in this story of failure, reckless determination, and victory. –Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.

Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed Hemingway's power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

©1952 Ernest Hemingway; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2007

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1507 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-31-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-31-14 Member Since 2013

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of story in a small package"

    This is my favourite type of classic. It is an exciting and thoroughly believable story coupled with a great writing style and profound themes that really resonate. It`s full of action, suspense, hope, fear, love, caring, pride, humility, and insight. I was very impressed and my first thought when I finished the book was: `I have got to share this with my sons`.

    I listened to this classic from start to finish uninterrupted on a long airplane flight. Doing that was a mistake, though. I was cheating myself. For a short book, there is a heck of a lot packed in and its messages are presented quite subtly. Without time to reflect on what I'd just read, I (rightly) suspected I'd missed quite a bit. So, the day after finishing it, I undertook a bit of research to see what themes I had missed. I`m glad I did and now have a much better appreciation of this fine novella. I suggest you do the same if you get a similar feeling when you finish it.

    And --no surprise-- Donald Sutherland's narration is thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of this great book. At some points in the book it becomes mesmerizing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09 Member Since 2008

    Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.

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    "Brilliant narration"

    A classic story brought to life by Sutherland's visceral tones. he does the book justice and I thoroughly enjoyed his skills as a story-teller. He actually became the old man!! Well done

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Santa Monica, CA, USA 05-04-06
    Michael Santa Monica, CA, USA 05-04-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Extremely well read"

    This is a modern classic I always wanted to experience. The stark language and biblical simplicity of the book is quite haunting. Some have criticized the book as being too obvious. However, I see this as Hemingway's tool for creating the overall tone. Some have speculated that the sharks Santiago faces in the book is Hemingway's metaphor of the relationship between himself and the literary critics. Who knows? In any case Donald Sutherland was a great narrator. I was very happy with this purchase

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Singapore, Singapore 10-28-13
    Matthew Singapore, Singapore 10-28-13 Member Since 2013

    Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.

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    "A conflicted review for a conflicted experience"

    This was the worst audiobook narration I’ve ever heard. I can only guess Sutherland was attempting to embody the exhaustion of the beaten-down, resilient old fisherman. But honestly, he sounded as bored and tired as I felt. There were entire passages I could barely understand because of the mumbly, comatose, fatigued delivery. It was so bad it was borderline comical.

    The saving grace is that the story is mercifully short – knowing it was going to end quickly was the only thing that kept me listening.

    As for the narrative itself, this was my first encounter with “The Old Man…”, and I’m so disappointed it was under these circumstances.

    During the reading I couldn’t find anything in the story that captured me. It was sparse and repetitive and – I hate to say it – boring. The emotional punch doesn’t come until the very, very end. And at that moment I could barely muster any response other than relief (that it was over) and bafflement (that this is considered a classic).

    But I like to allow a few days or a week before reviewing… to allow the text space to have its impact. I’ve found myself lingering on the mundane tragedy of the old man and the gentle broken heartedness of the young boy. And I’m ruminating on the old man’s tender acceptance of life’s harsh realities.

    These post-reading thoughts are making this a terribly difficult book to review. How can I want to re-experience something I didn’t enjoy at all? So maybe that’s why this qualifies as a classic?!

    I will most likely reread the book (as text not audio), and may possibly have a different opinion after Round 2. But in the meantime, I’m giving my honest response to a first-time exposure. My three-star review is intended to represent the awful experience during, and the delayed emotional punch that came after.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deanna D ALBUQUERQUE, NM, US 12-09-12
    Deanna D ALBUQUERQUE, NM, US 12-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Quick Must Read"
    If you could sum up The Old Man and the Sea in three words, what would they be?

    Perserverance, Strength, and Inspiration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Old Man is the focus of the story. You connect with his pain and struggle and want to be able to take over the ropes for him for a little bit if you could.


    What about Donald Sutherland’s performance did you like?

    His voice was so lulling yet dramatic. He was so perfect for this book. I loved this book before listening to it, but after hearing Donald Sutherland read it, I love it even more.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is definitely one you can listen to in one sitting, becasue of its length and interest. I would listen to it again as well for a quick yet powerful read.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Lane Plano, TX USA 10-16-12
    John Lane Plano, TX USA 10-16-12 Member Since 2011

    johnlane

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm just not a Hemingway fan"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I just didn't care for it. It's okay but there are so many good books out there I wouldn't bother with this.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Slouching towards Bethlehem.


    What three words best describe Donald Sutherland’s voice?

    Tired, Lacking emotion. As an actor, he has a great voice and is very easy to listen to. But his staccato delivery may be correct for the old man character, but I increasingly found it dull.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No. Just a sad story.


    Any additional comments?

    I have tried a few Hemingway books and I'm just not a fan. I always feel like I am missing something. His short choppy sentences distract me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-07-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "Best novella ever"

    Hemingway pretty much invented the technique of writing about one thing while the words are talking about something else. This is Hemingway at the peak of his ability and the height of his own experience of life. It comes about as close to perfection as any prose work has a right to in this world. Having Donald Sutherland read it is just an extra bonus.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 04-28-11
    Anne SANTA FE, NM, United States 04-28-11 Member Since 2003
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    "So Beautiful"

    Donald Sutherland's & Old Man in the Sea create the ultimate audible experience. "It's poetry in motion.".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stanley Germantown, WI, United States 08-16-10
    Stanley Germantown, WI, United States 08-16-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Hemingway read masterfully"

    As a fan of Hemingway I had shied away from this story because I suspected that Hemingway was long past his prime when it was written and the Pulitzer a mercy prize.

    I could not have been more wrong. The story is so compelling that later in the novella I often stopped the audio to absorb and visualize what had been said.

    If you aren't sure that Hemingway is for you, Donald Sutherland's reading is perfection. He is an objective bystander with subtle nuance in his voice surrounding the Old Man's epic story. I have listend to many audibles and I can not envision a better voice or interpretation.

    Hemingway is the old man, and the old man is Hemingway. There was nothing left for Hemingway to write after this story was complete. The sea was his writing and his struggle. Even if you have read the story, or read a lot of Hemingway listen as audible. Beautiful and perfect.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dakota 02-02-10
    Dakota 02-02-10 Listener Since 2005
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    "A Favorite"

    Donald Sutherland is perfect as the old man. His voice is soft and compelling. Hemingway builds into the boy and old man character and values that are so desirable, yet seem a thing of the past. I left the book wanting to be stronger (from the old man) and more compassionate (from the boy). I'm glad Audible put this on their Essential list!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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